Sunday, 14 June 2015

Day 7: "Ahoy me haaarties" Aberystwyth to Fishguard

Today's motley crew: David (Volunteer Ranger), Tim (Llanerchaeron Head Gardener),
 Gwen (Ceredigion Ranger),  John and me
When under pressure, John abandons his usual affable tact and switches to skipper mode.  This is the John that burst into the harbourmaster's office as I was arranging the onward postage of the elusive stop-solenoid.  “We’re leaving… NOW!” 

With the tide approaching the point when leaving Aberystwyth ceases to be possible, and shortly before we were about to cast off, our motley crew arrived.  Minutes later we were motoring though the rain into a gloomy Cardigan Bay, with our crew’s high spirits almost drowning out the throb of the engine.
Gwen, giving us a quick lesson in marine ecology
Pirate-inspired amateur-dramatics soon faded away as we started to take a lumpy swell and the rain beat down even harder.  Gwen pointed out a succession wonderful coves and headlands that she and her team of volunteers look after.  Craig yr Adar, Coebal, Cwm Silio, Cwm Tydu, Lochtyn, Penbryn and, finally, after about 4 hours of pitching and rolling, Mwnt.

Gwen and David
By this point the wind had increased to a stiff northerly, the swell had become even more tempestuous and two of the crew had ‘donated their breakfast to Neptune’.  At least, we thought, it will be all over when we round Cardigan Island and head into the Teifi estuary. One glance into the jagged jaws of the estuary made it clear that we would have to press on to Fishguard, another 3 hours of stomach-churning sailing.

Coming ashore at the old harbour at Fishguard
They say that the best cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree; well, a stroll through Fishguard for fish and chips seemed to do the job just as well.  We said our farewells to Gwen and David who were having a lift back home with Alison, Tim’s wife, and headed back to Capercaille.  

Not for the first time in this trip, Capercaille started hammering on the bottom as the tide reached full ebb, a serious inconvenience that would make sleep impossible.  This necessitated a quick repositioning to an anchorage, which returned the boat to a more soporific cradle-rocking movement.
John and Tim going ashore for re-fuelling
Go to Day 8

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